Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday indicated that the 21-day lockdown may be extended if the number of COVID-19 cases go up in the coming days. He also said that the government is starting “fever clinics” for those with cough, cold and fever. It will soon be announced where these clinics would come up.
“I know you are tired of sitting at home and are facing inconvenience. I would like to apologise for it but there is no other option except staying at home,” Uddhav said while addressing the state through social media. Referring to the worsening COVID-19 pandemic situation in the US, Japan and Singapore, Uddhav said that the reports of the lifting of restrictions after almost 75 days at Wuhan in China has come as a relief.
“There are reports that all restrictions in Wuhan where COVID-19 began have been lifted. It has come as a relief. Since the restrictions have been lifted after 75 days, it shows how far things can go if the situation continues like this. So, if we fight with precautions, we can also change the situation here,” he added.
“Those with cough, cold and fever should not go to other hospitals but only to these fever clinics, which will be launched in all divisions. The patients will be examined and directed for further treatment. Patients will be categorised into three categories – mild, moderate and severe symptoms, while also considering other factors like high BP and kidney ailments,” Uddhav said. He added that it is being done to prevent COVID-19 patients going to general hospitals.
The CM further said that while the number of cases are rising, they need to be brought down to zero. “We are planning to use rapid test kits but it needs to be certified. The certification is also needed for PPE (personal protective equipment) kits and ventilators. Once rapid test kits are certified, we will bring the highest number of kits,” he added.
Uddhav also appealed to retired military personnel, who have served in the medical sections, retired nurses and ward boys, and those who have completed training as nurses and ward boys but have not been placed in hospitals, to come forward to serve the state during the crisis.
Refuting allegations about the non-distribution of foodgrains given by the Centre, Uddhav pointed out that the Union government is providing only rice under the food security scheme. It’s distribution has started three days ago but it does not cover the orange ration card holders (Above Poverty Line category), he added. “So, I have requested the Prime Minister that the additional foodgrain should be made available at the minimum support price. It is a collective responsibility,” he added.
The CM also advised people above 60 years of age to observe dietary restrictions and urged then to be more careful if they suffer from diabetes and hypertension, as they fall in the high-risk category. He further advised people to exercise at home so that they remain fit to fight the economic battle after COVID-19 pandemic.
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